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The National Transportation Safety Board says it will be months before they fully determine why Asiana flight 214 crash landed at San Francisco on July 6. The crash also disturbed other federal security agencies, for a strange reason. Bob Clifford, an aviation attorney whose firm has handled a number of air disaster cases, told the Sacramento Bee that “Homeland Security and U.S. Customs are going nuts because so many of the people were taken right to the hospital and skipped customs.”
Nobody is suggesting terrorism was involved, and no evidence has surfaced that terrorists used the crash to infiltrate operatives. Lamenting the swift transfer of injured passengers to hospital is hardly a fine example of preserving national security. And there is evidence that the nation is not more secure because the DHS is on the job.
This is a federal bureaucracy created because other federal bureaucracies such as the CIA, NSA, and FBI failed to stop the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. With its budget of $60 billion and all the resources at its disposal, DHS has not been able to prevent terrorists from entering the country and, once here, from murdering innocent civilians.
In a July 10 hearing, the House Homeland Security Committee explored the bureaucratic and intelligence lapses in the Boston Marathon bombing and the mass murder at Ford Hood in 2009. Russia had warned U.S. authorities about the Tsarnaev brothers but this information did not get to anybody in a position to stop the bomb attacks that killed 3 and wounded more than 260. Even the committee, charged with oversight of such matters, did not have the information it needed.
U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused in the murder of 13 at Ford Hood, did everything but take out an ad on the Superbowl to announce his deadly intentions. But U.S. bureaucracies, including DHS and the military, did nothing. The casualties exceeded the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, but for the Obama administration this was “workplace violence.” In the hearing, former New York major Rudy Giuliani decried such political correctness. “This isn’t just preposterous,” he said. “What we fail to realize is, this is dangerous.”
P.J. O’Rourke once said the Department of Homeland Security “sounds like a failed savings and loan.” As the Boston and Fort Hood attacks confirm, that is more than a good quip.